Life has changed pretty dramatically in the past two months, hasn’t it.
We’ve gone from enjoying unlimited socialising, trips away,
holidays, walks, eating out and shopping, to living behind closed doors, shut
away from loved ones, and limited to a few walks a day.
That drastic change is inevitably going to have an impact
on anyone’s mental health.
Whether it’s moments of frustration, anxiety, stress, or
just sadness for the distance between you and your family, I’m sure we’ve all
felt it in our own way.
But with lockdown in Wales in this capacity ongoing for at
least the next two weeks, and life beyond that predicted to be changed
irreversibly due to coronavirus, how can we support our mental health to adapt
to this change?
Here’s a few things our Communications Manager Gemma has
been practicing over the last few weeks to support her mental health.
It sounds like an illogical concept when you feel like
you’ve lost so much, but taking two minutes to be grateful for what you have
really does go a long way.
Your health, access to food, a loving family, a garden, a
safe home – whatever you are thankful for, it’s important to take a minute to
In this time of intense pressure and stress, it can be all
too easy to give in to the negativity. But it’s hugely beneficial for your
mental health to remember the positives.
Everyone will have moments of upset, worry, and frustration
– and that’s perfectly fine. But when those creep up, just remind yourself that
this too shall pass.
Take time for you
Whether you’re working from home, or juggling parenting and
working, it can be easy to fall into a stressful Groundhog Day-style routine
which leaves no time for you.
Creating time for yourself can be challenging when you have
responsibilities, as a working parent I can totally appreciate the constant
balancing act of childcare and work.
With all that in mind it can be easy to forget to recharge
That is more important than ever now, with this pandemic
blurring the lines between our home and work life.
If you’re working from home create a designated workspace
that you can leave behind at the end of the day and switch off from the office
when your shift is done. Don’t get stuck in front of the TV for hours (although
if that’s how you relax go for it), read a book, go for a walk, take a bath –
enjoy some quality you time.
If you’ve got children, ‘me’ time is rare. Ensure you work
with your partner to get the time you need to unwind and reinvigorate
Hands up, who’s currently loving their time outside?
One of the positives to emerge from this extremely challenging
time, is that we’ve all developed a greater appreciation for the
Daily walks, runs, cycles, (whatever your preference) have
provided an escape in more ways than one.
Not only does this enable you to get some essential
exercise, it breaks up the potential monotony of the daily routine and
provides some much-needed mental relief.
Getting out in the fresh air and stretching your legs can
promote a greater sense of wellbeing, boost energy, and promote positivity and
And even a little bit can go a long way!
Research shows that just two 15 minute sessions can
significantly help mental wellbeing.
Now more than ever it’s crucial we stay in touch with our
family and friends.
With millions of people unable to see their loved ones this
could lead to feelings of upset, frustration and anxiety.
Thankfully, social distancing has led to an explosion in
the popularity of online video technology and apps like Zoom, Facetime,
WhatsApp, and House Party.
Staying connected with your family and friends in this way
is vital to supporting your mental health during this time when you can’t
physically be together.
A reassuring chat, a family quiz, or a quick catch up are
certain to enhance your mood and help support you in the weeks to come.
This year’s Mental Health Awareness Week’s theme is
kindness and it couldn’t be more appropriate given the situation we find
ourselves in. Take a moment to be kind to yourself, your loved ones and those
in your wider community.
As Mark Rowland, CEO of Mental Health Foundation, says of
the theme: “We have chosen kindness because of its singular ability to
unlock our shared humanity. Kindness strengthens relationships, develops
community and deepens solidarity. It is a cornerstone of our individual and
collective mental health. Wisdom from every culture across history recognises
that kindness is something that all human beings need to experience and
practise to be fully alive.”
Kindness costs nothing, but to someone else it means
everything. If you’re feeling low, doing one kind gesture can instantly lift
Tying in with this year’s theme jamjar has launched its Seven
Day Kindness Challenge, with a different kindness-focussed task each day. We
hope it’ll provide you with inspiration for some small acts of kindness that
will go a long way.
We know it’s tough, at times challenging, and stressful
right now, but don’t forget, you’re not alone. Being thankful for the small
things, taking time for you, getting outdoors, staying connected and being kind
can really go a long way.
Gemma Gwilym is our communications manager here at
jamjar. With over 10 years’ experience throughout the media industry as a
journalist, production journalist, copywriter, and now a PR, Gemma is ideally
placed to identify a great news angle, add a dash of creativity, and get your
story published. At jamjar she oversees clients including Sony UK Technology
Centre, Cardiff Bus, ScoutsCymru, Loteri Cymru, Traveline Cymru, Oil 4
Wales, and Life Science Hub Wales. To find out more about Gemma’s jam visit https://jamjar.agency/inside/